Everyone is back in school now and it’s safe to say this school year is unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime. If you are a teacher, thank you. If you are a student, or a parent of a student, I hope that you have a very successful year!
But today I want to talk about the little guys. The toddlers. Even though they aren’t old enough to go to official school quite yet, they are learning new things every single day. Everywhere is school to them, and that’s why I wanted to talk about my favorite educational toddler toys.
First, I don’t think you have to spend an arm and a leg to teach your kid. Some things are as easy as an empty box, but technology can be a great teacher too. So hopefully this list will have something for your child no matter if you’re old school, or all about that tech.
Puzzles are a great way to teach early math skills, problem solving, and honestly, they are just plain ‘ol fun! We started out with jigsaw puzzles. I liked those for younger ages because they are easy to handle (we had the one with the knobs), and it really helps the younger ones understand the concept. Now that he’s a little older, we’ve started on traditional puzzles. Those are a little harder, but it’s great to see the concentration he puts into it, and the skills that he’s learning. Another plus is, this is something you can both do together! It’s fun for everyone. We got these a few weeks ago and they’re really great for growing hands. They also snap really well together. I’d highly recommend!
If you don’t care to have puzzles around your house, there are also a lot of free apps that let your kids do puzzles as well.
We’ve had this desk for a little over a year now, and it’s pretty neat. I think the best toys are the ones that combine learning and fun, and this does just that. There are plenty of programs that teach letters, numbers and even new words. And if that isn’t enough, the desk came with inserts that also teach things like instruments and body parts. It also doubles as a chalkboard which is also tons of fun. Over time it seems that kids get board with their toys, the cool thing about the one is, there are so many different aspects of the desk, it’s really easy to switch it up and keep things fun.
We started using this software in the middle of this year when we were stuck at home. It’s really great. It goes from ages 2 to 13 and if you have more than one child, you can make up to 3 accounts on one subscription. Basically your kids learn all sorts of things, but they just think they’re having fun. There are games, puzzles, movies, songs, books, lessons, chants. It’s really a great program. Everyone I know who uses it loves it, the parents and the kids. Try the 30 day free trial and see if it’s for you!
They’re always running specials, so I waited for a special and ended up paying $45 for the whole year. Also, you can use this on any tablet, phone, computer, etc. It’s something that will really have your kids looking forward to learning!
Boxes are the best. This is really a great way to get creativity going. You might be surprised with what your kid comes up with. Is it a tunnel, a house, a train, a large coloring page, a drum? Or all of the above.
Good old fashioned blocks. Imaginations get to run wild as things get created. Blocks never get old. This helped my son learn his colors, which was something that I hadn’t even considered with blocks. We have these.
I think books are the ultimate teachers. This can help with early reading, conversations skills and hopefully it’ll just give your kid a love of reading. Even if they want you to read the same book to them 50 times, I’d imagine they’re getting something out of it each and every time.
Also, if your toddler doesn’t seem too into reading, maybe try different types of books. Is there a TV character that they love? Try those books. Do they like to touch things? There are plenty of books that allow them to feel or move things. Do they like music? They have books with songs. Just try to think out of the box with this one.
I hadn’t heard of these until we went to the library introduced to to me. But basically you get a bucket or a shallow square pan and fill it with uncooked rice or dried beans. Then you thrown in some measure cups or spoons. You can even bury hidden treasure in the bins and have your little one search for it. My son loves these. I think it’s something about the feel of the rice in his hands. If your child still puts things in their mouth, I would recommend keeping a close eye on them when they’re doing this activity. But it’s simple enough, free and lost of fun.
You are their best teacher
I realize that this list is mostly about teaching educational things. I also realize that you aren’t one of their educational toddler toys. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how important you are in your child’s life. You are the one teaching your child morals. Respect. Discipline. There are skills we need to teach our children that aren’t going to ever appear on an SAT test, but honestly, I think those skills may be the most important of all. You’re doing a great job, your child thanks you.
Well that’s all for this time, I hope these ideas were helpful! I’d love to hear about any great educational toddler toys you’ve used! Let me know below.
Make life sweet and learn all you can.